Body Image

As a young child, I was always heavy.  My mom kept our kitchen pantry very well stocked with all sorts of snacks: potato chips, corn chips, nacho chips, all sorts of sugary cereals, snack cakes, pudding cups...  Why we had all this junk food was beyond me, but we did.

I was never ashamed of my body, or felt out of place until other people made me feel that way.  The two earliest memories I have of feeling bad about myself come courtesy of my mother.

When I was younger, I took dance lessons - tap, jazz and ballet.  This one year, we were doing this fun little jazz number for the dance recital and the costume the teacher picked out was these little shorts and a top...they fabric looked like it had been splatter painted.  We all loved them!  I remember my mother making a big stink out of the costume because "it's going to show your belly."  The tops were cropped a bit.  Of course, I didn't care.  These costumes were COOL!  All the girls in the glass loved them, me included.  But, I do recall we never did have those costumes.  I'm not sure if the teacher decided otherwise, or if my mother put up enough of a stink to change her mind.  But I remember feeling such shame over :::gasp::: my belly showing, that I became very self conscious about that body part.  

The second time my mother made me feel like shit was when I was getting ready for a school choir concert at school.  When I was younger, my mother would always tell me "you'll be the prettiest girl there."  We were standing in our half bathroom; I had my dress on and my mom was doing my hair.  I looked in the mirror and said "Mommy, I'll be the prettiest girl there."  And she said no.  She looked at me and said "no, Jane Watkins is a cute little girl, I think she may be the prettiest one there tonight."  I couldn't cry.  I couldn't do anything.  But I died a little that day.  And I know that sounds overly dramatic.  But I felt shame.  Shame that my mother thought so little of my physical appearance.  We should be boosting each other up, not dragging each other down.  I feel soooooo drug down.  I just want to feel good about myself again.

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